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Reissue of The Cliff: America’s First Great Copper Mine, now available. And a new blog.

This is actually old news now but I realized I forgot to post something here. I don’t update this blog anymore, so it slipped my mind. If have set up a new personal blog, The Industrious Archaeologist blog at (that still covers/will cover a lot on Cliff) for anyone interested in following along. It’s […]

2014 Student Blog Post #5: Daniel Schneider

Finding Meaning in Cemeteries My name is Daniel Schneider. I am entering my second year of studies in the Industrial Archaeology program here at MTU. My research interests relate to the transformation of nineteenth century artistic skills within the context of industrialization. Blog readers living in the Copper Country may know me from my work […]

What was (and is now) the ‘Function/Use’ of the Cliff?

So the property has a classification and (at some point) will have a hard number of contributing and non-contributing resources that go into that will help support its nomination… and in this next step, the assignment of past and current Functions/Uses. It’s important to list what a property’s current state of use (or function) in […]

Eastern Extent of Cliff’s Stamp Mill: Part 1

At the opposite end of things in the stamp room area of the mill site we have another excavation going. I am interested in seeing just how long the stamp room was. According to historic photos the stamp room extended eastward more than the wash-house did. The two buildings therefore made a “T” shape. The stamp […]

The Cemetery is OK

Over the weekend there was a rumor that the Protestant (aka- Hillside) cemetery had been vandalized and that some of the monuments had been removed. I went out to check this out and it is all a false alarm. The fact is a tree has fallen right where you usually enter into the cemetery and […]

Student Blog Post #7: Carol Griskavich

Hello, friendly blog-enjoyers. My name is Carol Griskavich and I am pursuing my Masters of Industrial Archaeology here at Michigan Tech. I like to say I came by this field honestly – my dad being a metallurgist and mom a librarian – but in reality it’s my provision of some answers to my childhood refrain […]

The Warren Mill’s Stamp Room: Then and Today

Our excavations of the Warren era mill are completed. Before I go into too much detail about those excavations I wanted to show a couple of images: one of Warren’s mill as it looked nearly a century ago, the other what it looks like today. You can see that some of it is recognizable. For […]

1 Site, 3 Mills, Revisited

This is an edited version of a post I wrote about this time last year. I thought it would be useful to re-post with changes that will make this ear’s work at the mill site easier to follow. Before we get into more archaeology, I think its important to explain some of the history of […]

The Cliff’s Invincible Determination!

Sometimes I stumble upon interesting quotes and tidbits in my notes…

From the July 23rd issue of the Lake Superior Journal (Sault Ste. Marie)

July 18th, 1853 dated editorial from a “C”:

“Amongst my more immediate “compagnons du voyage” are some of those whose names are identified so closely with the early history of the mining operations of Lake Superior and the rise and progress up to the present moment of its most successful development that the time may come, when their names will be consecrated, as the Poet has it, either in “Sculptured Marble or Monumental Brass” as they have already been crowned with many masses of copper. But should the districts for which these gentlemen have done so much prove ungrateful, they will have the pleasing satisfaction of knowing, that they belong to “the forlorn hope” whose good fortune it was, to rescue from comparative oblivion this great district! That it was to their indomitable will and perseverance amidst difficulties and disasters, which banished from the country all their competitors, that the solid “Cliff” was made to “Ope its ponderous jaws” and yield up its treasures to their invincible determination.”

Wait! Wait! There’s More!

It was supposed to be over. During the backfill of the excavations (actually when we were finished and packing up), one of our volunteers (and a fellow grad student in Michigan Tech’s Industrial Archaeology program) Mark noticed a series of wood planks that looked suspiciously like a floor sticking out of the ground about 100 […]